The Queen arrives in the capital today, and when she does, city residents should take advantage of the opportunity to see her if at all possible, a uOttawa expert said yesterday.

“She’s our Head of State, and she doesn’t come (here) very often,” said Michael Behiels, a university research chair in Canadian Federalism and Constitutional Studies. “So when she does, it’s an important event in Canadian history.”

Although Behiels classifies approximately 25 per cent of Canadians as royal watchers, “many Canadians don’t understand the role of the Queen as our Head of State.”

Her visit could raise awareness about that, he said.

Because of her age, this may be the Queen’s last visit to Ottawa, said Behiels.

“I think this is an important opportunity to give Canadians the chance to see her and to give her the respect she deserves as our Head of State.

“We are very fortunate to have her. Many countries would love to have a monarch like Queen Elizabeth. She has served us very, very well.”